The city as something else

Are you alright?” It was Hanna calling my mobile phone in the middle of July. I had left my Brooklyn neighborhood for upstate New York that summer month “to write” and Hanna, my neighborhood dry cleaner was calling to check in on me — never having called before — worried that something had happened to me since she didn’t see me walking by daily with my dog.

This is New York.

It was on this day 23 years ago that I moved to New York City, intending only to stop here on my way to something else. It seems the city has become my something else, many times over, its pedestrians upon dog parks upon stoops upon protesters upon subways upon heat-lamped dinners becoming the backdrop and material of my world.

Today, I enjoyed looking back on some of my city accounting since:

Am I alright? I am indeed, for I have known what it is to have been a New Yorker.